|Statement by Ms. Tian Ni, Adviser to the Chinese Delegation, at 3rd Committee of UNGA 60th Session on the Rights of Children (Item 69)|
Since the 27th Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Children in May, 2002, the international community, national governments and civil societies have continued with their joint efforts for the promotion and protection of the rights of children, which resulted in constant progress in this field worldwide. In this regard, governments and relevant UN agencies have done a lot of work, for which we express our appreciation.
Meanwhile, we are keenly aware that in many regions of the world, tens of thousands of children still die each year from war, armed conflicts or diseases, tens of thousands of children are still suffering from malnutrition and abject poverty, tens of thousands of children are still subject to child labor or are unable to go to school, and tens of thousands of children remain victims of sexual abuse and exploitation. Poverty, hunger, disease, natural disaster, child labor, drug, sexual abuse, war and armed conflicts constitute serious violations of the rights of children, including their rights to life and health. Therefore, the protection of the rights of children worldwide still has a long way to go. Guided by the fundamental principle of acting in "the best interests of the child", the international community must strengthen cooperation and take effective measures in an effort to gradually eliminate the root causes of the above-mentioned problems. These are common responsibilities of all countries. The developed countries in particular have the duty and obligation to provide financial resources and technologies to the developing countries so as to create a sound environment for the healthy development of all the children across the world.
Children in China account for one-fifth of the world's total. Respect for the elderly and caring for the young has been a long-standing tradition in China. The Chinese government has always attached importance to the promotion and protection of the rights of children. As early as 1991, China ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In April and August of 2002 respectively, China ratified the Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. In April 2005, China ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Inter-country Adoption. At present, China is giving positive consideration to the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
In order to effectively implement the Convention and the Protocols, China has taken a series of legislative and administrative measures aimed at protecting the rights of children. So far, China's domestic system of law and regulations in the field of protecting the rights of children has basically taken shape, which consists of the Constitution, the Civil Law, the Law on Adoption, the Law on the Protection of the Minors and the Law on Compulsory Education. A rather comprehensive nationwide organizational structure in this field has also been established, which centers around the State Council's Committee on Women and Children and involves relevant government agencies. In May 2001, the Chinese government promulgated the Outline for the Development of Children in China (2001-2010), stipulating China's development goals and specific measures for the first decade of the 21st century in the following four areas: children and health, children and education, children and legal protection, and children and environment. The implementation of this Outline, which is well under way, and the completion of the implementation process will surely further advance the all-round healthy development of children in China.
The Chinese government has always undertaken in real earnest the obligations of submitting implementation reports. In May 2003, the Chinese government submitted to the Committee on the Rights of the Child its second report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In April 2005, China submitted in time its first report on the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.
On Sept. 19th and 20th, the Committee on the Rights of the Child reviewed the above reports. The Chinese government attached great importance to the review and sent a high-level delegation consisting of experts from many sectors to the Committee so as to conduct exchanges and dialogue with the Committee in a positive, open and constructive manner. The Chinese delegation briefed the Committee on the latest progress China had made in recent years in protecting the rights of children, including the implementation of the conclusions and recommendations that the Committee put forward at its previous review conference. On the other hand, the Chinese delegation also frankly admitted the deficiencies in the implementation efforts and briefed the Committee on the corresponding measures being taken or to be taken. The Committee gave high appraisal to what China had done. We will fully study the conclusions and recommendations by the Committee, and continue to maintain good cooperation with the Committee.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.